May 23, 2012

Mango Avocado Milkshake Recipe, Mango Milkshake with Avocados

Mango Milkshake is a delicious drink and there's no denying that. But if you added some ripe avocados to when making mango milkshake? Even better! I've had family over the past couple weeks and thinks have been crazy ranging from cooking to sight seeing to shopping to eating.

Mango and Avocado Milkshake Recipe

Along with 6 people came a carton of mangoes, my favourite fruit. Although we were eating them as fast as they ripen, we were still left with a lot of mangoes that needed finishing up, a problem I was most happy with. There are so many different things you can make with ripe mangoes, like mango cheesecake, vegan mango cake, mango lassi, and even mango ice-cream milkshake.

Mango Mania

So we made mango milkshake every day for 4 days and had it in the evenings. I had some overripe avocados which we threw into the mango milkshake one day and it turned out delicious.

Mango Avocado Milkshake Recipe

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Yields 4-6 glasses

2 of ripe mangoes
1 of ripe avocado
2 cups of milk
2 cups of water (adjust according to consistency desired)
Sugar of as needed
A pinch of salt
A few drops of vanilla essence (optional but recommended)

How to make Mango Avocado Milkshake:

Mango and Avocado Milkshake Recipe

1. Chop up the mangoes and the avocado. Keep all other ingredients handy and get your blender out.

2. Blend the mangoes and avocado into a smooth paste with no lumps. It will be super thick. Now add the milk and water and blend until well combined. You can adjust the water as needed. We added quite a bit because the avocados make the milkshake extra rich and thick. You can use just milk if that's what you prefer.

3. Once you get a uniform mixture, add the sugar, salt, and vanilla and blend some more. Chill and serve.

Mango and Avocado Milkshake Recipe

- the avocado gives the mango milkshake a greenish tinge
- if you want just plane jane mango milkshake, then omit the avocado
- we used full cream milk but you can also use low fat milk
- adjust the sugar level after checking how sweet the mangoes are. the ones we used were bland so we had to add about 3 tbsp of sugar for this quantity of milkshake

May 22, 2012

Ragi Semiya Upma Recipe (Vermicelli Upma) - Upma Recipe

Ragi semiya upma - Amma made this delicious breakfast upma the last time I was in Kottayam. Although I am not a huge fan of semiya upma, I do make it now and then. Ragi semiya was new to me and I didn't expect to like it much but it was a very pleasant surprise!

Ragi Semiya Upma Recipe

Although I took pictures when amma was preparing the ragi semiya upma, they didn't turn out great. I am always on vacation mode when in Kottayam and feel lazy taking step by step pics. I'd much rather sit on the high kitchen counter, dangling my feet, drinking hot tea, and generally not caring about anything going on around me. There are few exceptions to this and the day the ragi semiya upma was made, it wasn't one of them.

May 21, 2012

Punjabi Chole Masala (Channa / Chana / Chickpeas) Recipe

Punjabi chole or chana masala recipe with spices, an aromatic Indian vegetarian recipe made Punjabi-style. 

Although I am always tempted to order chana masala when we out to eat, TH hardly ever agrees, saying "it's something we can make at home". Not that we can't make any of the other dishes at home, but somehow, dal and channa masala is a no-go for him.

Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

While a regular chana masala is delicious in its simplicity and forms the better part of chana bhatura, I also love this Punjabi chole masala for its depth of flavour. Using black cardamom is key and I highly recommend sourcing it if you don't have some in your pantry. For the deep colour of chickpeas in this recipe, I use a tea bag when pressure cooking them which adds the colour but none of the flavour in the final dish - trust me.

Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves 4-6
Adapted from: A Mad Tea Party

1.5 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 tea bag (optional)
1/2 tsp of baking soda (optional)
1" piece of ginger, grated
2 onions, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tsp of red chilli powder
2 tbsp of oil
1 tsp of garam masala (I used Kitchen King Masala)
To Dry Roast:
3 tbsp of coriander seeds
A small piece of Indian cinnamon
4 cloves
1 tsp of whole black pepper
3 black cardamom
2 tsp of cumin seeds (jeera)
1 bay leaf
1-2 dry red chillies


1. Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse it once or twice. Add enough water it cover it by an inch and add the baking soda (I don't generally do this but you can if you want the chickpeas to cook up quicker and softer) and a tea bag (this is for the deep colour which I love in Channa Masala - totally optional). Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or partially cover and cook in a pan until soft.
Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

2. Dry roast the listed ingredients taking care not to burn any of them. I made the mistake of adding coarsely ground jeera which turned a bit bitter. Don't make that mistake, add whole jeera.
Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

Cool, grind, and set this masala powder aside.
Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

3. Heat oil in the same pan and add the grated ginger. Fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

Add the onions next and fry until it turns pink and transparent. Next, add the tomatoes.
Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

Cook until the onions and tomatoes turn mushy and the oil separates. As Anita says "there isn't much oil to separate here" so just do this for 15 mins or so (if you are impatient like me) and get on with the rest of the process.
Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

4. Add the ground masala powder, red chilli powder and garam masala to the onion-tomato mixture. Stir well for a few mins until this mixture turns dark and fragrant (I let it cook together for about 3-4 mins).
Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

5. Now, add the cooked, drained channa and combine well.
Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

6. Add about 3 cups of water and salt to this and cook in the open pan for 10-15 mins until your desired consistency is reached. Since I served it with chapati, I wanted it to be a bit on the "watery" side but not too much.
Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

You must serve this channa masala with hot chapatis and raw, sliced onions. It tastes fantastic!
Punjabi Chole Masala Recipe

Prop Alert: The battered brass-copper bowl is from FabIndia - Rs. 750
Brown base material is a throw from Ikea

Text art on the first pic by the uber-talented Sindhu.

May 16, 2012

Pepper Rasam Recipe | Easy Milagu Rasam Recipe

Pepper Rasam or Milagu Rasam is my mom-in-law's specialty. I have always associated pepper rasam with being sick. It's not a very positive way at looking at it but that's just the way it's been so far. What I am sharing today is my mom in law's Papper Rasam recipe which is made not only when someone is sick but also when you crave something simple and spicy for lunch along with a basic vegetable kootu or cabbage poriyal.

Pepper Rasam (Milagu Rasam) Recipe

Pepper Rasam is quite unique in some ways though. MIL adds garlic in her milagu rasam (which is avoidable if you want don't take garlic) and adds no toor dal which again you can play around with.

May 11, 2012

Vengaya Kara Kuzhambu (with Coconut Milk) Recipe

Recipe for vengaya kara kuzhambu - onion kara kuzhambu recipe. The kuzhambu (or pulusu, as we Reddiars call it) in my home and TH's home are very different. My mom-in-law's recipes are much milder, easier to make, and taste great with typical South Indian side dishes.

This kara kozhambu is something she makes very often and it goes best with rice although we have it with pretty much anything in hand, like ven pongal. In fact, some of you emailed me to ask for that kozhambu recipe when I posted the ven pongal recipe a couple months back.

Chinna Vengaya Vatha Kozhambu Recipe

I'm led to believe that this is her own concoction though. She adds coconut milk to the kozhambu to add flavour and thicken it up a bit. The end result is mild, flavourful, and absolutely delicious.

You may also want to check out my easy kara kuzhambu recipe (no coconut milk), Andhra onion tamarind curry, and this instant vatha kuzhambu.

Vengaya Kara Kuzhambu (with Coconut Milk)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 6

1 lemon-sized ball of tamarind
1 cup of peeled shallots / chinna vengayam
1 tbsp of coriander powder
1 tbsp of sambar powder
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
3 tbsp of oil
1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
A few methi seeds / uluva / menthayam
A few curry leaves
1/2 tsp of red chilli powder (optional)
A generous pinch of hing
1 tomato, chopped
Salt to taste
1 cup of thick coconut milk
How It's Made:

1. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup warm water for 10 mins. Extract juice and discard the pulp.

2. Peel and wash the shallots. Leave them whole, no need to chop them.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the methi seeds, and curry leaves. When the methi seeds start to turn brown, taking care not to burn them, add the chopped tomatoes and the shallots.

4. Mix well and add the tamarind water, salt, turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, sambar powder, and hing. Top off with another cup of water and bring to boil.

5. Simmer for 10-15 mins, adding more water if needed, until the shallots are cooked soft. The mixture should be a bit watery.

6. Finally, add the coconut milk and when it just begins to boil, remove from fire.

If you find the kozhambu too watery, you can add 1 tbsp rice powder in 3 tbsp water and add to the mixture and bring to boil. Usually, the coconut milk gives the gravy enough thickness.
Vengaya Kara Kuzhambu (with Coconut Milk) Recipe

Serve the kara kozhambu with rice, poriyal, and chips.

May 9, 2012

Paneer Payasam Recipe | Paneer Kheer Recipe | Step by Step

Before any of you get confused and wonder what Paneer Payasam is all about, let me tell you this is not Basundi or Rabri or any of those delicious things you get when you are super patient and have good-quality milk in hand.

What I have for you today is a delicious DELICIOUS dessert that takes all of 12 mins to make. This is another gem that Darsh introduced me to and I was floored, just like I was with her tiramisu recipe.

Paneer Payasam (Chenna Payash) Recipe

The name she gave this - Chenna Payash - leads me to believe that this is a Bengali dessert, not that we are surprised by that, so I want to leave a disclaimer that this may not be an authentic chenna payash recipe or anything. But did I mention it's delicious?

May 7, 2012

Free Wellness Consultations Contest + Book Giveaway + a B&W Picture

I think this is the longest I've been away from this blog since that time I took 2 weeks off and got married. You know, since that's a very involved process and all that. Anyway, I was in Tokyo for a week and then I had to attend a marketing course at INSEAD for a week and needed the weekend to wind down and do nothing important.

But, I don't want to keep this amazing opportunity from you any more. My friend Megha is a certified yoga teacher (I have even taken lessons with her), a level III reiki practitioner, and a Certified Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, NY. You can find her over at The Balance Mantra.

Megha and I would like to invite you to take part in a contest. More details below:

The Contest Details

- Choose your favourite healthy snack recipe and post it in your blog (non-bloggers can take part by emailing their recipes to us) between now and May 31st, 2012

- The recipe post needs to be linked to Edible Garden

- Once done, email the post URL to me at and Megha at

- Only one entry accepted per person. Posts need to be made exclusively for this event. No older posts please

- Winners will be announced the first week of June

What's in it for you?

- 15 entries get a complimentary initial consultation with Megha. This means an hour of focussing on YOUR health and nutrition goals. You can learn more about her personalized six-month health counseling program too

- It gets more exciting! One lucky winner from the entries will also win the extremely informative and bestselling book The Self-Healing Cookbook: Whole Foods To Balance Body, Mind and Moods by Kristina Turner

- All entries will be featured in Megha's blog as they come in and winners will be announced both on her blog and on Edible Garden

- You can work with her on how you want to do the consultation. She's open to doing it over Skype, phone, in person, or a Google+ Hangout

So start cooking!

On an unrelated note, I want to send in this picture of Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes to Susan's Black and White Photo Event being hosted by Siri this week. Doesn't exactly fit in with the healthy snack event I just announced but ah well, we are all allowed indulgences now and then.

May 2, 2012

Blueberry Muffins with Yogurt | Guest Post

I have a sister and a brother. I know many people do and it's not a huge deal but I like to believe my situation is a bit different. It is, actually. They are both more than 9 years older than me. So there's my brother and sister who are 1.5 years apart and then there's me, much younger than the two of them. This led to some interesting childhood events. I was bullied quite mercilessly, needless to say. But as we grew up a bit, my siblings were my almost-parents. My brother taught me how to brush my teeth and my sister and I have a TON of pictures together when she has made me up so much that I look unrecognisable. She also used to sing to me a lot and force me to scrub my face hard while bathing. Random, I know.

Anyway, this post is not so much about all that, it's more about my sister, her blog, and her lovely Blueberry Muffins. I have been especially caught up in other stuff over the past couple weeks (a work trip followed by a vacation followed by marketing classes at INSEAD for those of you who are curious) and was lamenting to the sis how I am just not able to post something in here. She immediately offered to help me out by sharing her gorgeous pics and recipe for blueberry muffins.

PS: I am Bindya to my old friends and family. You really didn't think my parents call me Nags, did you?

Over to her!

Hi, I am Bharathy of Spicy Chilly. Many of you already know that we are sisters (rocking in our own many of you had mentioned a lot of times.. ahem ;)) with our own food blogs for the past five years.
Well, after reading her 5th year post I was pleasantly surprised when I realised the hard work she'd put in and the fruits she plucked; though we started blogging at the same time she has 16 times the viewership and earnings than mine!! This definitely isn't a simple thing for anyone who works, travels, socialises, maintains home, friends, and cooks too! The word A.W.E.S.O.M.E would be an understatement here!

As already said, she was the one who introduced me to this world of blogging and when she too joined within a month or so, both of us should admit the fact that we loved every moment being here with lots of food, friends, pictures, gossips ;) and more, ever since.

I have a few out there who (still) mail me or message me amazed at our relationship, the warmth and concern we always share. Honestly, let me tell you, we are like any other sisters...we yell at each other, we fight, we cry (mostly one of us) we pour out, we compromise blowing peace pipes dancing around the fire and see to it that ultimately nothing is taken too seriously :)..or at least amma's words ring in my ears.."Bharathy aren't you ashamed to be so immature.. she's nine years (stressing on the number!) younger than you!" which has an instantaneous impact on me ;)

The cocktail is here, if you had missed out, which had been the post that stood above all my recipe posts in 2011. I'm still overwhelmed by the love you all had showered on us!

I had never really thought of doing a guest post but recently have been wanting to do some so badly for her.

Bindya, this is for you...

Blueberry Muffins were the ones I wanted to lay my hands upon when my sister in law got me a small can of preserved berries. I was soon in search of a good recipe for moist and soft muffins. As always the recipe from Joy of Baking didn't let me down. I wondered how quickly these Blueberry Muffins can be put together as they had suggested! The key ingredient in these blueberry muffins is yogurt. It adds a lot of moisture and gives it a bread-like texture without adding much complexity or calories.

Blueberry Muffins with Yogurt
Source - Joy of Baking
Makes 12 muffins

1 cup (240 ml) plain yogurt (regular or low fat)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup (60 ml) canola or corn oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (100 grams) fresh or frozen blueberries (I used canned blueberries)

How to make Yogurt Blueberry Muffins:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Position rack in center of oven. Butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the yogurt, lightly beaten egg, oil, and vanilla extract.

3. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Remove 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients and toss it with the blueberries. If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw before adding them to the batter. With a rubber spatula fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Do not over mix the batter or the muffins will be too tough and hard.

4. Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Bharathy's Note: In spite of the warning given in the recipe source  that "these Blueberry Muffins are always quick to disappear",  guess I'd been a little careless and had halved the recipe which yielded 6 scrumptious ones and half of them were gone in no time with my children around! The pictures are of the remaining 3.